"SSU Breaks Ground on $37 Million Science Building"
SALISBURY, MD---Before a festive audience of friends of the University and members of the campus community, Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening broke ground today on Salisbury State University's new $37 million science building.
At 145,500 square feet, the new science hall will be the largest academic facility on campus and one of the largest science buildings in the state.
The three-story brick structure will house the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, endowed by the Maryland aviation pioneer who lives in Salisbury, and also the Guerrieri Laboratory Center, endowed by the Guerrieri Family Foundation of Ocean City, supplemented by the State of Maryland's Private Donation Incentive Program.
"Maryland's strong economy and unparalleled quality of life is directly related to the excellence of the State's higher education system," said Gov. Glendening. "The excellent work and important research that will be performed here at Salisbury State University--in this facility--is a shining example of what we can achieve through meaningful investment in our outstanding colleges and universities."
"I'm very grateful to Gov. Glendening and Delegate Norman Conway of the 38th District who have made this truly a golden age of school construction for Salisbury State and for Maryland. We also want to acknowledge another pair of dear friends, Richard Henson and the Guerrieri Family Trust, for opening up new possibilities for our students," said SSU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.
The science building will be the first academic facility to be constructed at SSU in a decade. (The last was Fulton Hall, home to the liberal and performing arts, which broke ground in 1989.) The new state-of-the-art science hall will house biology/environmental health, chemistry, physics and engineering, mathematics and computer science, and geography and geosciences.
It will hold 12 classrooms of various sizes including a tiered auditorium, 32 teaching laboratories and 22 research laboratories. Salisbury State and the Henson School are recognized nationally as leaders in the undergraduate research movement and its alumni have gone on to such institutions as the University of Maryland College Park, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and Duke University, among others. The 22 undergraduate research labs will allow for highly motivated students like those to work with faculty on self-directed projects. The smart classrooms and labs will also be wired for the Internet and computer-projection systems. In addition, the building will have student study areas, conference rooms and 95 faculty/staff offices.
Planning for the building has been underway for 10 years. Dr. Tom Jones, dean of the Henson School, and other University officials visited science facilities throughout Maryland and beyond researching the latest in science construction. To accommodate the new facility, two buildings were demolished: an old one-story dining hall, and a metallic one-story multi-use building. The current home of the Henson School, Devilbiss Hall, will be renovated to house the Nursing and Health Sciences departments, located on Power St. near the athletic fields. These departments have never been on main campus. Having the different departments in such close proximity "allows sciences to be more inter-disciplinary," said Jones.
"This is indeed an exciting moment for me personally and for the future of science education at Salisbury State," said Jones. "I have spent over 20 years teaching biology and mentoring undergraduate research students in Devilbiss Hall. While Devilbiss served us well in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the requirements of higher education science instruction today and the ever increasing size of the science student body and faculty have led us to this initial step in the actual construction of our new state-of-the-art complex. This facility will enable us to prepare highly competitive graduates for a world where science literacy is essential."
The science building is expected to open for classes in fall 2002.
Architects are Cho, Benn, Holback, Mitchell/Giurgola and the contractor is Bovis Lend Lease of Baltimore.
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